6 Ingredients for Creating an Inclusive Workplace Culture

Joelly Kahono
Joelly Kahono
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Temps de lecture : 7 minutes

Inclusion is one of the three pillars of DEIdiversity, equity, and inclusion. Yes, it’s important to include inclusion in your organization!

Inclusive culture or culture of inclusion is based on the values each company holds, as well as its convictions and each employee’s actions, with the goal of equal access, input, and participation from every individual—despite their differences. Creating such a culture is a challenge for HR and management alike.

More than just a trend, inclusion is a necessity in today’s professional world. According to one BCG study, employees working in inclusive environments are 1.5 times more likely to be happy at work.

Today, employees are calling for more concrete action to encourage inclusion within the company. What ingredients will you want to add? Not to worry—we’ve got all the recipes!

In this article, we list the 6 essential ingredients for creating an inclusive workplace culture. Grab your spoons! 🧑‍🍳

Ingredients for creating an inclusive workplace culture

First things first: diagnose

As with cooking, it’s essential to first take inventory before diving head first into the creation of an inclusive workplace culture. 🔍

Take a moment to assess the current sense of belonging among your employees. Are they fully integrated and engaged in the life of the company—or do they feel left out of major decisions? Observe and take a snapshot of the diversity throughout your teams. Does it reflect the company as a whole, or are there imbalances you can improve?

Next, ask yourself what your company’s and your employees’ needs are. Every organization is unique, with its own inclusion challenges and opportunities. What are the specific obstacles you’ll need to overcome to create a culture where everyone feels welcome and valued? What are your employees’ needs and expectations in terms of inclusion?

Finally, don’t forget to involve senior management in the process. A Deloitte study reveals that 40% of executives and HR managers believe that senior management should be the main sponsor of diversity and inclusion. So, make sure your top management is not only aware of the importance of inclusion, but also ready to fully commit to promoting within the company!

Talk about it!

The expression “walking on eggshells” 🥚 makes perfect sense in the context of inclusion at work. Indeed, even bringing up the subject of an inclusive workplace culture at work can require tact… 😅 But you know what? It’s time we put our foot down! 🍳

Daring to talk about what might be considered taboo is the first step towards an inclusive culture. Focus on transparency! By being open and honest about the challenges and goals of inclusion, you create an environment where trust thrives. In fact, our latest study with Ipsos on transparency reveals that 44% of employees believe that an organization that shares information transparently with its employees performs better. Why not then take this opportunity to boost your company’s productivity?

Also read: All Clear: Ways to Improve Transparency in the Workplace

Don’t underestimate the crucial role of leadership in promoting an inclusive workplace culture. Leaders and managers are also there to inspire and motivate their teams to embrace diversity and inclusion. Involve them from the get-go: show them why the topic’s important and how they can contribute to creating an environment where all players feel respected and valued. In the end, by working together, you’ll build an inclusive culture that will make your company proud.

quote of rev jesse jackson that highlights the importance of having an inclusive workplace culture

Define and set your goals, and then commit to them (for real) 🫵

Now that you have a clear plan and have laid the foundations, let’s get down to business! 👨‍🍳

First off, take the time to clarify your motivations.

  • Why do you want to create an inclusive culture?
  • Is this just to follow the trend—or because you sincerely believe in inclusion and equality at work?

According to a study by EY, while 9 out of 10 employers claim to put people at the heart of their long-term strategy, fewer than 7 out of 10 employees actually believe them. In short, take your approach seriously and stay authentic!

Once your motivations are in place, it’s time to draw up a concrete action plan to achieve your goals. If you’re familiar with the SMART method (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound), now’s the time to put it into practice! Think about the following elements:

  • The specific steps you’ll need to take (will training be necessary. Are your digital tools adapted and accessible to all? Will you need to adapt your workspace?)
  • The resources you’ll be able to allocate to it. (What’s the budget? Should you call in a specialist consultant? Invest in collaboration tools?)
  • Deadlines you need to meet. (Set realistic, achievable deadlines to ensure that the process moves forward efficiently.)
  • People who will serve as references on inclusivity. (They’ll infuse your inclusive culture throughout the company.)
  • Your communication plan to inform and bring in all the staff in your approach. (How will you adapt communication to the different teams? Who will communicate for each team?)

Ready to commit to an inclusive culture that makes a difference?

Involve, raise awareness, and train

Now that we’ve launched the first ingredients for creating an inclusive culture, it’s time to take action! Here are a few ideas to get your team involved, trained and aware of inclusion in a fun and effective way.

Review your processes and policies

First, review your company’s processes and policies to make them more inclusive. This can involve adjustments to recruitment processes, promotion policies, or even simply changing the language used in internal communications. For example: 

  • Adopt blind recruitment methods to reduce bias.
  • Rely on quotas to promote diversity (like more persons with disabilities, more women, and more from ethnic minorities).
  • Set up mentoring programs to support the professional development of minority employees.
  • Establish transparent and fair criteria for promotions.
  • Adopt inclusive, gender-neutral language in emails, reports, and official company documents.

Adopt a collaboration tool

Consider using a tool that facilitates collaboration and inclusion within your company. For example, with a collaborative tool like Talkspirit:

  • You can create personalized user profiles, allowing each employee to highlight his or her skills, interests, or geographical location.
  • Takes on new and varied forms of interactive communication! With polls, translatable publications, and chat on the platform, you can boost the participation and commitment of your employees, no matter where they are.
  • You can also customize various homepages to meet the specific needs of different groups! Whether for sales, development or support teams, each home page can be tailored to provide the information and tools each audience needs.

Request a demo of our platform today to discover how Talkspirit can help you make your company more inclusive and successful.

Train and raise team awareness

The first step in training is to eliminate bad habits. We all have unconscious biases that can influence our daily actions and interactions. To remove these bad habits, we need to recognize them. By recognizing and understanding these biases, your employees will be better equipped to counter them and adopt more inclusive behaviors.

  • To do this, offer your teams training to replace these harmful behaviors with ones more in line with your company’s new inclusive workplace culture.
  • Organize in-house activities such as contests, games, educational challenges—even just moments of exchange among colleagues. For example, you could organize a trivia culture week. During this week, each day, a colleague has the opportunity to share an aspect of his or her culture, whatever it may be (LGBTQIA+, a country, a center of interest, etc.). These moments of discovery and sharing encourage acceptance and inclusion of all team members.
Organizing an afterwork with colleagues

💡And above all, create an environment where everyone feels not only accepted, but valued for their diversity and unique contributions!

Foster diverse talent!

Seeking to build a dynamic and inclusive team? Then now’s the time to adopt a talent diversity approach.

The basis of a company’s culture is its talent, and the best talent is a diverse talent: 

  • Rethink your recruitment process to make it more inclusive.
  • Design workspaces that are accessible to all. This will better suit candidates from a broader range of backgrounds, whether they’re disabled, expats, or currently living elsewhere in the world.

By opening your doors to a wider range of talent, you enrich your team and stimulate creativity and innovation. A recent Deloitte study on diversity and inclusion says it all: when companies commit to an inclusive approach, they’re almost 60% more likely to enjoy a better reputation and employer brand. So, why not capitalize on this competitive advantage by promoting diversity in your recruitment?

Measure and adjust

You can’t create an inclusive culture overnight. It’s like planting a tree—it takes watering, pruning, and time! Like any evolution, a cultural transformation inevitably requires that certain desired behaviors become the norm.

So, how do you know if you’re on the right track? Track performance indicators to assess the effectiveness of your inclusive workplace culture. For example, you can gauge:

  • employee retention rate
  • candidate diversity during recruitment campaigns (more persons with disabilities, women, people from ethnic minorities, etc.)
  • participation in initiatives for inclusion

At the same time, don’t underestimate the importance of employee feedback! Their opinions and experiences are valuable sources of information for identifying strengths and areas for improvement in your corporate culture.

Finally, don’t forget that continuous improvement is essential to maintaining an inclusive culture. Be prepared to regularly re-evaluate your practices, listen to employee feedback, and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that your culture continuously remains aligned with your company’s values. 

A final word

Creating an inclusive culture at work is no easy recipe! It requires a sincere commitment and a strategic approach. 🧑‍🍳 By mixing our 6 ingredients into the batch, you can improve your employer brand while boosting innovation, productivity and employee satisfaction. But beware: to open up to more diversity, you also need to create a framework! Put collaboration and mutual respect at the heart of your inclusive culture. The primary objective is for everyone to feel valued and respected for their unique contribution. Now you have (almost) all the keys you need to infuse your company with a fragrance of sustainable growth and performance! 🥧

There’s yet another key lever for creating an inclusive workplace culture: psychological safety. Download our white paper “How to Develop Psychological Safety at Work” to find out what it is and how to implement it: 

Access the White Paper

In this white paper, you’ll discover methods and tools for measuring your team’s level of psychological safety, an example of a participative workshop to involve your employees in the company strategy, as well as one testimonial from a company that has implemented this methodology.

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